CHENNAI: A 13-year-old boy was washed away in the Cooum river at Maduravoyal in Chennai on Sunday afternoon. According to Maduravoyal police, the boy - V Kumaresan - was riding on a moped with his parents and brother on a road bridge partially submerged by the river, at around 1.30 pm when the two-wheeler slipped and all four fell into the river.
The boy's father R Venugopal (53), mother V Easwari (32), and brother Vignesh (10) were rescued by two passersby, identified as S Ravikumar (32) of Pulianthope and S Chakrapani (41) of Villivaakkam. However, Kumaresan, who is a non-verbal child, could not be found.
The family was reportedly travelling from Aynambakkam to Alwarthirunagar to attend a family function. Police claimed the family might have moved the barricades placed on the bridge to continue their journey. However, The New Indian Express had noticed no barricades along the bridge earlier in the day and seen vehicles crossing the stretch.
The bridge has been submerged by flood water from the Cooum river since Friday afternoon. The river has been receiving water from the Poondi reservoir in Tiruvallur district, which was released following heavy rains. The reservoir on Sunday was nearly at full capacity with water at 3,118 Mcft and had released outflows of 1,117 cusecs.
Fire and rescue service personnel, who were pressed into action, continued their search for Kumaresan till 7.30 pm when it became too dark for the operation. An official from the fire and rescue services department said the rescue operation would resume on Monday morning if the river’s currents weakened. An hour after the incident, the department had recovered the two-wheeler.
(With added inputs from Adarsh B Pradeep)